Skip to main content

Essential Kitchen Items for Painting - Part 1 Kitchen Wrap

I thought it might interest you to take a peek into some of my working practices, and will be revealing them on an ad hoc basis.

Like many painters, I make use of use of different everyday items in one form or another during the painting process.

Something I find indispensable is kitchen wrap (cling film / saran wrap). I use it for several things.

- Working out Variations on a (mostly) dry painting.
I make use of it to look at possible variations in a painting. The image below is of a commission of Ulm Pushkin in Montana I am working on. The client wanted the butte a little larger and to stand out more. To gauge how large to go, I placed the wrap over the painting and made a couple of suggestions using a felt tip. She went for the first option.

This could also be used to try out different colours.

- Keeping Paints Moist
Another use is to cover the paints at the end of the day to keep the paints moist. This also works for acrylics - spray the acrylics with water and then cover with the film. Some of the acrylic will stick to the film but the rest will still be moist enough to continue using. This is a great idea when plein aire painting as the palette and paint can be put away without the paint making a mess.

 -Avoiding Brush Cleaning
Wrap the brushes with film at the end of the day to stop them drying overnight. They only need to be washed at the end of the painting

-Avoiding cleaning palettes
I normally use a piece of glass as a palette, but when I use a wooden palette I often cover it with wrap first. When I have finished the painting, the wrap can be thrown away and the palette doesn't need cleaning.

-Working out a composition
I have difficulty translating sketches and ideas onto the larger size of the canvas. Often I cover the canvas in cling film and work out the composition using a felt tip pen. This gives me a good idea of whether the composition and relative sizes will work.

Let me know if you use kitchen wrap and if you have any other ideas for its use.

Popular posts from this blog

Value in Painting - Black and White Boards

"The most important aspects of a painting is VALUE  and DESIGN. These two trump colour, texture etc." Nicholas Wilton

Value is essentially the lightness and darkness of a colour. The correct use of value gives a painting (both abstract and representational) depth.

I must admit, because I use a lot of colour, the values can sometimes go awry and I have to always be very conscious of that. So getting more of a grip on this, is my goal for this aspect of the course.

The second assignment of the Art2Life course, was to create two boards using only black and white. I based one on one of my failed paintings to see where I could make improvements and the other was purely abstract.

This one still exists as shown, I have yet to put colour on it
The first one, received some limited palette colour:
I have not taken this one forward and I shall have to find it again in my pile of unfinished boards. I can see it is too busy (so obvious now) and it needs to be unified.

Phases of a painting, are you in the middle middle or the beginning of the end?

Work in Progress Diptych. Where am I in the process?

Recently I listened to a trailer for an interview by Nicholas Wilton talking to Mark Eanes.

Mark Eanes suggested that a good way of looking at the painting process is as a three step process, the beginning, the middle and the end. Each of these have three parts - a beginning a middle and an end, so nine phases in all.

I love this way of thinking about the process and it really gels with me and helps me assess where I am at. I has helped me to visualise what I have done in a meaningful way and how much more there is to do. For example, recently I felt that I wasn't getting past the beginning, but when I stood back and assessed the work I had done and what else I wanted to do, I felt I was further along the process and maybe more to the middle of the middle. Not foolproof of course, but a help.

For example in the work in progress above. I am at the beginning of the end. Realising that, cheered me up no end. 😊

Tell me how you as…

Adding Texture to Acrylics Part 1

My visitors have all gone home and I am enjoy the peace and quiet lost in painting again.

As usual, I am working on several paintings at once but they all look a little flat so I am injecting some texture into them.

The best way to do this is at the beginning of a painting is using gesso or modeling paste. You can also use these on an in-progress painting but, as they are opaque, you will lose any colour already down.

One method I enjoy using, because it brings up a lot of unexpected surprise, is laying down two, three or even four layers of acrylics on top of one another and then scraping through the acrylic.

Use thick paint for the best results and wait for the paint to touch dry before adding another layer. I like to wait until the top layer is just touch dry before dragging the scaper through the paint. The effects are different according to how dry the paint is. Practice this to see the different effects. The wet paint also lifts off some of the dried paint underneath, giving in…